ConFab interview: ISMI’s Bill Ross on managing legacy fabs and supply obsolescence

June 6, 2012 — Bill Ross, ISMI, is moderating a session today at The ConFab 2012 on managing legacy semiconductor fabs and dealing with tool and materials obsolescence at 200mm and smaller. He speaks with Solid State Technology chief editor Pete Singer about coping with these changes.

The ConFab is Solid State Technology’s invitation-only meeting of the semiconductor industry, taking place this week in Las Vegas.


Year after year, tool suppliers decrease their support for 200mm, with more intense focus on 300mm and even 450mm tools. “200mm has taken a backseat…getting qualified field service support and the parts to maintain legacy tools has become a real issue for legacy fabs,” Ross said.

On the materials side, suppliers can phase out a photoresist, for example, and the semiconductor fab will need to requalify their entire process. Planning ahead will help chipmakers avoid some of the costs associated with this transition. Other examples include alignment jigs for lithography lenses, field manuals, and the list goes on.

Ross moderated a new event at The ConFab, called the Executive Roundtable. Participants included Ashish Bhatnagar, managing director and engineering head, SPG Applied Global Services; Joerg Recklies, director of maintenance engineering, Infineon; and Mike Barrow, executive VP and COO, International Rectifier.

ISMI stands for the International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI), which is part of SEMATECH, an international consortium of leading semiconductor device, equipment, and materials manufacturers.

More from The ConFab 2012:

Chasing price, power and performance

Semiconductors in the smart society: Next-generation connectivity

Turning the technology knobs for system scaling

How to prevail over silicon cycles

Semiconductor industry experts look to the future

A virtual IDM concept

Visit the Semiconductors Channel of Solid State Technology!


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